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home : opinions :   May 25, 2016

7/8/2014 10:11:00 AM
Letters to the editor: Get the facts and you'll understand Clean Line project's benefits





As a project manager at Clean Line Energy and someone who is passionate about moving the wind industry forward, I would like to address some of the misleading statements made in the recent letter, “Beware: Transmission line would create health risks.”

This letter specifically references another article published on June 6 that reported an osteopathic physician in Missouri, whose land may be crossed by a proposed direct current (DC) transmission line, who “undertook a search for unbiased independent studies” and argues that the results provide “evidence of detrimental effects direct current lines do have on humans.” As support for this claim, the physician cites “The Bioinitiative report” an Internet posting that was not peer-reviewed.

Despite the statement in the article that “Not all [studies in the Bioinitiative report] were related to the effects of high voltage direct current (HVDC) lines,” the fact is that none of the studies in the Bioinitiative report pertain to HVDC lines and effects of DC fields are not discussed at all. Because of the differences between alternating current (AC) extremely low frequency fields and DC fields, none of the quotations from the Bioinitiative Report in the June 6 article regarding AC are relevant to exposures to DC fields.

Despite extensive research, neither the International Agency for Research on Cancer, one of the world’s leading authorities on cancer, nor the World Health Organization, have found that there is an adequate basis to conclude that DC fields at levels produced by HVDC lines contribute to cancer or other health effects. See http://www.who.int/peh-emf/publications/facts/fs299/en/.

I strongly urge folks to gain a full understanding of direct current technology from nationally and internationally trusted sources. At Clean Line Energy, safety is among our chief concerns as we strive to treat landowners with the utmost respect.

Beth Conley,
Manager, Clean Line Energy











Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Article comment by: Anonymous57198

I am very interested in this project because I have a grandmother with a pacemaker who I know is supposed to avoid strong magnetic fields because they could interfere with her device.

The WHO page Beth L. of Clean Line recommended seems to conclude that we should be cautious with such forces because they can cause short-term damage and we haven't studied them enough to be sure of long-term effects. Anyone working with it occupationally (MRI techs for example) take extensive measures to shield themselves from exposure.

Below are the notes/summary I took while reading it and below that are the source quotes from the WHO's website:

---

DC electricity creates static electric fields.

The earth naturally has such a field, but mankind's inventions have been over 100,000 times stronger.

Short-term effects can be harmless or may increase deaths due to heart problems. We won't know until it has been properly studied.

Because we don't know how dangerous they are International limits have been set to control the levels people are exposed to. 40mT is currently recommended for healthy individuals but those with pacemakers should avoid even .5mT. WHO recommends no one get exposed to anything above 2T.

--- Source quotes (WHO - http://www.who.int/peh-emf/publications/facts/fs299/en/) ---

"The use of DC electricity is another source of static electric fields, e.g. rail systems using DC, and televisions and computer screens with cathode ray tubes."

"Man-made static magnetic fields are generated wherever DC currents are used, such as in electric trains or industrial processes such as aluminium production and in gas welding. These can be more than 1000 times stronger than the Earth’s natural magnetic field."

"Recent technological innovations have led to the use of magnetic fields up to 100 000 times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field."

"For static electric fields, few studies have been carried out. The results to date suggest that the only acute effects are associated with body hair movement and discomfort from spark discharges. Chronic or delayed effects of static electric fields have not been properly investigated."

"Static magnetic fields exert forces on moving charges in the blood, such as ions, generating electrical fields and currents around the heart and major blood vessels that can slightly impede the flow of blood. Possible effects range from minor changes in heartbeat to an increase in the risk of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia) that might be life-threatening (such as ventricular fibrillation)."

"It is not possible to determine whether there are any long-term health consequences even from exposure in the millitesla range because, to date, there are no well-conducted epidemiological or long-term animal studies. Thus the carcinogenicity of static magnetic fields to humans is not at present classifiable (IARC, 2002)."

"Exposure to static magnetic fields has been addressed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (see: www.icnirp.org). For occupational exposure, present limits are based on avoiding the sensations of vertigo and nausea induced by movement in a static magnetic field. The recommended limits are time-weighted average of 200 mT during the working day for occupational exposure, with a ceiling value of 2 T. A continuous exposure limit of 40 mT is given for the general public."

"Static magnetic fields affect implanted metallic devices such as pacemakers present inside the body, and this could have direct adverse health consequences. It is suggested that wearers of cardiac pacemakers, ferromagnetic implants and implanted electronic devices should avoid locations where the field exceeds 0.5 mT. Also, care should be taken to prevent hazards from metal objects being suddenly attracted to magnets in field exceeds 3 mT."

---

We should also look at the effects these fields have on our natural wildlife because they often depend on the earth's natural magnetic field to aid them in their survival.

I'm hopeful that wireless power transmission becomes feasible soon enough that such unnatural and dangerous infrastructure is no longer considered.


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